Kitt carries Irish hopes after tough day in Portugal

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David Kitt - image courtesy of Maynooth University

Irish hopes took a hit in the second round of the Portuguese International Amateur Championship with Athenry’s David Kitt the leading local player at Montado Golf Resort at the halfway stage.

Carton House’s Keith Egan, who sat four shots back of overnight leader Frank Kennedy, shot a six-over 78 to drop well off the pace, leaving Kitt the best-placed Irishman in a share of 15th at four-under.

The Athenry man added a second consecutive two-under 70, starting at the 10th and birdieing only the 17th and 18th to move up the leaderboard, but he is still eight shots off the lead of Kennedy, who added a three-under 69 on day two to reach 10-under.

The Englishman’s lead is one over German pair Finn Koelle and Carl Siemens and France’s Paul Beauvy, with Italy’s Flavio Michetti carding the best round of the day, an eight-under 64, to sit in a share of fifth at seven-under alongside the Czech Republic’s Dominik Pavouchek and former North of Ireland champion Arron Edwards-Hill.

Galway Bay’s Andrew Hickey is the only other Irish player under-par at one-under after a three-under 69 featuring an eagle, four birdies and three bogeys in his second round, with Powerscourt’s David Shiel next up at one-over after a second round 72 with three birdies and as many bogeys.

Kitt had started his round well with back-to-back birdies, but a horror stretch of nine bogeys in his last 11 holes saw him slump to a six-over 78 that leaves him three-over alongside Meath’s Jack McDonnell, who bounced back superbly from his opening 80 with a 67.

Athenry’s Allan Hill shot a second consecutive round of 75 to fall to six-over, with Sligo’s TJ Ford struggling to a 79 which dropped him to seven-over, while Royal Dublin’s Richard Knightly signed for a 73 that has him nine-over for the week.

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